$350 for a Premium Multisport Watch?
The likes of Garmin, Polar and Suunto should be worried because the Coros Apex is making waves.
There are three things that make the Coros Apex special.
- looks great
- has an exceptional battery life
- costs less than $350
Granted, there have been some issues with heart rate accuracy. It’s not perfect, but, the Apex is a great contender in the fitness tracker world that serious runners and athletes should consider.
You get a design that feels as premium as a Suunto or Garmin. There’s a rotating button on the side that is used for navigating menu options and shows the data on the screen with one push.
This 46mm beast offers 35 hours of battery in GPS mode.
The more slimline 42mm option offers 25 hour (for $50 less)
It’s incredibly cost-effective; you get multisport tracking, a sophisticated look and great battery life.
It’s incredibly user-friendly, mostly because there is a lack of features in comparison to alternatives. It has a ‘stamina’ feature that’s great for tracking a run, but it does rely on the heart rate monitor for this.
You get six stats on-screen which is easy to read as well as insightful.
There’s a training feature that’s easy to follow during a run and there are guided sessions that offer a helpful structure to your workout.
Your Apex offers breadcrumb trailing and offers a back-to-the-start navigation feature that you can tap at any point.
- It only tracks swimming, cycling and running.
- The structured sessions are essentially interval sessions and nothing more complex.
- Heart rate tracking is a little inaccurate during a run. This impacts other features like recovery.
The Coros and its six statistics are wonderful to swipe between during a run. You’ll need to set up the in-run data that you want on-screen. You need the app for this.
It delivers the data you’d expect like your pace, time, distance and a couple of more advanced things like stamina. This gives you an idea of how much energy you should have left for your run and a percentage that will decline as you go. This data is available during non-exercising times so you can monitor how quickly your energy is used up in between your runs.
Most watches with GPS offer a recovery feature. Brands like Polar offer far deeper insight in comparison but the Apex offers beauty in simplicity. If you’re running and wonder if you have one more mile in the tank, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.
This depends on how accurate you feel the stamina data is. Again, the heart rate tracking can impact this, but it’s good to give you an idea.
The Apex is great for both aerobic and anaerobic training. It’ll offer more of those guided workouts based on the two options. If you put a chest strap on, this will boost the accuracy of your heart rate readings and you’ll get better data from your session.
You’re able to create your own workout, which is simple intervals again but can be used in the running mode.
The power used during a run on the 46mm version is great. It was tested during a 24 hour endurance challenge and still had a third of the battery life left.
If you run 3-5 times a week, you’ll get these on one charge.
The biggest difference between the running and cycling modes on the Apex is the data it offers. Your stamina data isn’t available, unfortunately, but you get another new option which relates to power. It requires an additional sensor for this, but again, it’ll give you great insight on the grade of the hill you’re on.
Cyclists wishing to go on a long ride will love the battery life more than runners. The intensity seems to be less with cycling and the readings more accurate. A separate HRM is advisable, still.
Newer versions of the 46mm track more than swimming, cycling and running. Now you can track things like hiking, trail running, general outdoor and indoor cardio sessions.
The modes and data still aren’t as intricate as what you get with Garmin or Suunto but remember the price here and you’ll still be impressed. If you’re new to a certain sport or just want a general reading, the Apex will be a great friend.
You can customise the label for the cardio modes. The outdoor one uses GPS to record your speed and distance. The indoor one will record your heart rate, calories burned and time elapsed.
You can use the Apex to track your activities during the day. Steps, calories burned and active energy, workout time and floors climbed. You can access this information via scrolling your watch display.
Daily tracking isn’t the main concern of the Apex. It’ll give you a notification if you haven’t moved for a given period of time. The heart rate monitor isn’t consistent if you’re not exercising. Rather, it’ll take your heart rate every 10 minutes.
In the app, you won’t actually see sleep tracking most of the time. Your data is only produced if you wear the Apex at night. Makes sense. In the morning, you will be presented with a graph that plots your heart rate. This is on a background that is colour-coded to illustrate REM sleep, light sleep and awake time.
You get a total time for each and average heart rate.
It won’t tell you how you can improve your sleep quality. It also doesn’t notice any trends in your sleep patterns. Some, more expensive alternatives can do this. If you’re happy with general data, the Apex isn’t uncomfortable to sleep in.
The Apex itself isn’t overly complex. It doesn’t offer more than you need on the display menus. Things are similar in the app, too. On the front page, you’re given your graphs for daily activities. Things like steps and active energy are plotted. You get some information about your training load and fitness. It’ll tell you your resting heart rate and VO2 max.
The app is the place to go for your previous workout history to look over previous performance.